Where I Stand

While I am proud of what I’ve accomplished with music and songwriting, what I’m most proud of is my happiness. ~ Jewel

by Pete Ferguson

The past year or so has been an amazing journey. It has also been very personal – which makes writing here more difficult and why I’ve slacked off a bit.

It is easy to post a contrite “why you should …” blog, but much more difficult to dig deep and reveal the inner workings of one’s mind, heart, and soul.

The posts that are most popular seem to be the “seven reasons why you should …” or “ten things everyone should do better.”

But the reality is that I’m likely not going to do all seven, or ten, or three. I’m going to incorporate what works best for me.

And that is where happiness lies – in our ability to be ourselves, to be in the moment, and to have a vision of what we want to do and move in that direction.

Happiness is always there with us in the moment. We just have to make the shift and choose to see it … But being happy doesn’t come from the things we achieve or how far we’ve come. It comes from being present and enjoying the journey. ~ Peter Clemens

Mistakes come easily. That’s just life. We like to hold our heroes up high and pretend they did not make mistakes – or that they made big ones early in life but then turned it all around and never looked back.

But is that really reality? I’ve met multi millionaires who’ve said their biggest goal in life is to have a family that gets along better.

I’ve seen senior executives who’s greatest quest in life is happiness in their personal life. The success as work is a mere byproduct of that quest.

And what I’ve learned is simple. You have to be your best self.


I say best self because being just “yourself” can lead to a lot of base behavior. The natural man or woman would likely sleep all day, eat a lot, and be quite selfish.

To be your best self requires momentum towards a vision of how your individual contributions to life will make a better life for those around you.

And for me, the journey does start right back where I started – with myself. I have big dreams: to transform the security world, to reveal the Tooele, Utah, valley as a great music hotbed of talent, which it is.

But the most important dreams I have are to see my children succeed. Just as my father worked hard to improve our lives over his own, I too want my children to have access to things which were out of my reach. I want them to be firm in who they are, and to help them realize their dreams with more ease – but not without learning from the trials and obstacles that will surely be in their way.

I want the words “can’t” and “impossible” to be a laughing matter and not a debilitating roadblock and dream killer.

And at work I want to extend that vision to others who are just starting their career and may feel stuck in an accidental career. I want to pave the way for them to be successful quicker, faster, and smarter than I have been. So they can take the torch I’ve carried and move it much farther into the future.

And that is where I stand.

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Comfortable Misery – The “Me Too!” Mentality

In society there is an inclination to drag everyone down to a common level of comfortable misery. Cut loose the cords that bind you down and encourage a rising tide to lift all ships!

by Pete Ferguson

In Dan Miller’s 48 Days Online Radio Show this week, he used the phrase “comfortable misery” in describing those who are not happy – but are not yet disgusted enough to want to make a change.

When it comes to weight loss, overcoming addictions, looking for a new job, fixing a relationship, etc. we have to come to a point where the misery of continuing to do what we’ve always done is greater than the potential pain of change.

And sometimes change is painful. And sometimes we make it out to be much more than it is! And in making change, it is easy to compare ourselves against others who are doing something better than we are and to make excuses as to why it is so easy for them, or why we cannot make the change.

As you look at others who are more successful, more accomplished, more talented than you are at a particular skill, are you excited for them? Or are you envious?

There is a big difference between being self-assured and selfish.

To be self-assured is to wish the same success you have on others, to appreciate other’s successes, and to want to see them be more successful. It is an attitude of abundance.

To be selfish is to be self-centered, only concentrating on your feelings. You can also go a step further into envy and wish others less success.

Envy seeks to take away what another has out of spite and hatred, and is driven by the desire to destroy.  It is an extremely destructive emotion, one that cannot bring personal happiness and is sure to bring social harm. ~ Ron Paul, Liberty Defined

We have good friends who moved about a year ago to a monster of a house. Rather than congratulate them, most of my neighbors made discouraging remarks about how hard it would be to clean, how “things aren’t important” etc. I didn’t hear anyone excited for them.

Unfortunately, recently we found out that the foundation of their new home is cracked and their home is sliding off the hill where it was built and our friends have had to move again into a smaller home. I haven’t let anyone in our current neighborhood know because I suspect there would be a bit of gloating and “I told you so” or even worse, false predictions that our friends are being cursed for greed or something silly.

I’ve been working for the past few years on comfortable success. Thanking God daily for everything I enjoy. Health, strength, sound finances, living within our means, working hard to live a good moral life and see our children be successful.

What I’ve found is that I’m thrilled for others success. It is their success. I do not want it. I have my own successes. When I hear of another’s failures, I am sad for them. No one “deserves” pain and anguish.

Learn: What is your self-talk when you hear about another’s success? In the current politically charged atmosphere, are you keeping it human? Can you accept that this is a race between two good men who value their families, or are you overcome by the vast availability of negativity about how the world is going to end if candidate A or B wins?

Act: Start each day in gratitude. It makes a HUGE difference. A difference people have noticed in me and I have noticed in myself. It takes work, and every day is not perfect, but when I start with gratitude I find any trials in the day to be easily overcome or put into proper perspective.

Share: Share your time. Share your talents. Share in other people’s time and talents.